Education Ministry clears 129 schools for face-to-face teaching in January
The Education Ministry has said 129 schools have now been cleared for face-to-face teaching and learning when the school year resumes in January.
This is up from the 17 schools which had been approved for the programme in October.
According to Education Minister Fayval Williams, all students and teachers are expected to use one or a combination of approaches to continue the education of students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"No child in Jamaica of school age should be seen sitting around idly, or on the road going to the corner shop, or doing housework during school time which is designated as 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday to Friday," said Williams.
The new school term begins on January 4.
"Attending school, whether virtual, remote, or face-to-face, is still a requirement," the minister said adding that children who were not using any of the available teaching/learning engagement are in danger of falling way behind.
Meanwhile, the 128 schools approved for face-to-face learning will be allowed until January 18 to fine-tune their preparations.
However, Williams said the focus for this term would be to prepare students doing exit exams this year.
These exams include the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate and the Primary Exit Profile (PEP).
Grades-six students at the primary level are scheduled to sit the first of two components of the PEP exam – the Ability Test, on February 23, 2021.
The Education Ministry has committed to offering additional special learning interventions.
“Students will be provided with fully-funded access to Edufocal and One on One Educational Service in preparation for PEP and other external exams,” said Williams.
Additionally, a mobile student support initiative will be launched on January 18, 2021, to focus on students who were not consistently engaged in the last school term.
The ministry has said it will be providing after-school classes to small groups of five for two hours, twice per week, using schools, church halls, community centres, Universal Service Fund community access points, Jamaica Library Service locations, and other learning spaces.
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